Home-style lamb curry

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins


Serves 4

Storecupboard spices along with puréed onions, garlic and ginger create an authentic flavour in this tender lamb curry that's rich in iron and 2 of your 5-a-day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal470
  • fat29g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein39g
  • salt0.3g
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  • thumb-sized piece ginger, ½ cut into matchsticks, the rest left whole



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 onions, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 750g leg of lamb, diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli or green chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
  • basmati rice and mango chutney or raita, to serve


  1. Put the whole piece of ginger, the onions and garlic in a food processor with 300ml water. Blitz to a smooth purée. Scrape down the sides with a spoon and blitz again to make it as smooth as you can. Tip into a deep sauté pan, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins. Remove the lid and cook for 5 mins more, stirring occasionally. By now the liquid should be all gone. If not, cook a little longer.

  2. Add the oil to the pan with the rest of the ginger. Turn up the heat and fry, stirring, for 3-5 mins until it starts to colour.

  3. Stir in the spices and add the lamb. Stir-fry until the lamb changes colour. Tip in the tomatoes with a can of water and the chilli, season well, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hr.

  4. Stir in the coriander stalks, re-cover and cook for a final 30 mins until the lamb is tender. Add a splash of water if necessary to loosen the consistency as it cooks. Stir in the coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice and mango chutney or raita.

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Comments (17)

monza's picture

I did add water to the onion/garlic blend. I did not measure it. Just added enough to make it a slurry. Then I added a touch more while in pan to make it a little thinner. I think the issue most are having is due to variation in onion sizes.

Once I added the spices- it was curry paste! I was so excited- I didn't know it would form a paste.

Added chopped green beans, diced carrot (3), and a few grape tomatoes (just to use them up as they weren't going to last).

This recipe came out great for me. So glad i got a surprise lesson for curry paste base.

vipersmate's picture

Brilliant curry agree leaving the water out at the beginning and adding a splash of oil produces a fantastic paste. My wife enjoyed it very much and look forward to enjoying it as a regular meal.

Wharfedalemum's picture

I loved this curry. I didn't read any of the other comments before making it and just halved the ingredients as I used 450g lamb. I used half the water and it evaporated in the time. This made quite a dry but absolutely delicious curry. I will definitely be making it again.

Ls4711's picture

As with other contributors I didn't use any water to blend the onions, garlic and ginger only a teaspoon of oil instead. I also used chicken stock with the water after the tomatoes are added. I felt th sauce was a little bland for my taste so I added an extra teaspoon of all the spices with the addition of chilli flashes and 2 tsp of tandoori garam masala. What a transformation. Really enjoyed it and will be making again....

Roccocharles's picture

Oh and further to my comment below, I added a tiny bit of water, but I had to pour it away. So I think it needs NO WATER with the ginger, garlic and onion mixture, so you can actually sauté it with a bit if oil.

Roccocharles's picture

This was great! Not too hard to do, and I was pleased I already had all of the ingredients besides the lamb, which is the only thing I had to buy. I used a standard pack of diced lamb (450g?) and the same measurements for the rest of the ingredients and it was perfect, with the right amount of sauce. Me and my husband shared it. I suspect it might have been too dry had I used 750g of lamb. I will definitely make this again.

southside_wolf's picture

This is an excellent curry, but as many have commented the 300ml water is unnecessary and actually does not feature in the recipe as it was originally published in the magazine. Leave that out and enjoy.

lurvlyloz's picture

I didn't blend the onion and garlic as my blender has broken. And also wanged it in the slow cooker. Really tasty but too much water. Will remember for next time but will definitely make again x

Noony's picture

Really enjoyed this but made a fair few changes. Now the family's favorite curry.
Firstly roughly cut whole of the Ginger and put it in the blender (dont bother with the matchsticks), 300ml of water is stupid and will make slop. Add 100ml of vegetable oil and 3 Tbsp of water instead. The most important part :) fry the paste until golden before adding the spice.Rather than the can of water add 1.25 cans of chicken stock. I had fresh stock on hand but anything will do.Where it says season well, if you have used chicken stock I would add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of salt. Be careful, easy to over do it.
Not the healthiest but I would happily eat this in a restaurant.

Hertscontent's picture

I made this recipe with my husband - we both enjoy cooking but he is the undisputed 'curry-King' in our house! We followed the recipe but only used 100ml water to start with, and used diced neck of lamb. It was delicious and will definitely be making again.

sarahandgavin's picture

Agree! Too much water but great end result

samfoodie's picture

First time I made this I did it to the recipe...never again! Gave it another go but this time I just fried the onion, garlic and ginger (don't bother with matchsticks!) then added spices and lamb....delicious!! Ate it next day and was really nice, good one for the freezer too.

whats4t's picture

This is the first time I have made a negative comment on BBC Good Food. I followed this recipe to the dot and I really mean to the to the absolute last detail. Despite this I was so disappointed I could have binned it!! We are curry lovers in our house and when I told my son I was trying a new recipe form the site , we were looking forward to something special. I `saved it` by added good old Pataks curry paste, huge amounts of salt and pepper and reducing it all for at least 30 mins.plus lots and lots of fresh coriander.
What is this blending onion, garlic and ginger plus 300mls of water all about? IT took 30 plus mins to get rid of the water and then . .it still had water content, so then how are we suppose to `fry` the spices off? please explain the advantages of blending onion, garlic and ginger. . against frying them to start with? very disappointed. Not for genuine curry fans!!

scarletwelsh's picture

Completely agree. Getting rid of all the water took forever (there's even more added later in the recipe) and resulted in a seriously bland dish. Wish I hadn't bothered.

sleedham's picture

Are you really supposed to add 300ml of water to the onion, ginger and garlic paste? Is that a typo? Because you get liquid, not a paste, and it takes ages to boil it all off. Not looking good so far!

beckbrown's picture

This was great!! Really easy to do And delicious.

Sutton999's picture

Really delicious. Didn't need to tweak this recipe at all, it worked beautifully.

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Tips (2)

wittykook's picture

OK, so my comment is sort of negative too. Why on earth would you use Rapeseed Oil when it's really bad for you? Industrialized to the hilt and it's the same stuff that was used to make the mustard bombs in WW11. Canola Oil. Canadian Oil. ( Disguised, ) Most Indians use either Ghee or Coconut Oil, far far better and YES! Eliminate the water!NOT an authentic Curry at all.

regaljester's picture

The onion, ginger and garlic need to be blended to a paste using a table spoon of oil instead of water.